I love Twitter and I find myself writing about it a lot. I often write about friendships I’ve made and on almost every article about this topic someone leaves a comment asking me to explain how a person could build meaningful relationships on Twitter.
Some people have left comments saying that it is impossible to build real relationships on Twitter, adding that Twitter is only a place for pointless little messages and short communications; and therefore real relationships cannot be built. I strongly disagree with this. I have friends on Twitter that know me better than any friends outside of Twitter.
It is not hard to build meaningful relationships on Twitter, but like building relationships outside of Twitter, it takes time, patience and attention. Simply put, you get out of it what you put into it. I’ve never seen anything else illustrate the Law of Reciprocity as well as Twitter.
If relationship building on Twitter is something you’ve struggled with, here are 10 tips that I hope will help you.
1. Rule number one: Follow good people! If you go to a party on Saturday night and it is full of losers, you leave, right? Same thing on Twitter, if you aren’t careful about who you follow, you may find yourself amongst a bunch of people you wouldn’t want to be friends with anyway.
2. Introduce yourself to people that have the same interests. I met my best Twitter friend, @Mistygirlph, because she was always tweeting great music. I introduced myself to her, she tweeted back and the rest is history. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
3. Be happy and positive. You will attract friends to you like bees to honey if you are. I’m not saying to be something you’re not, of course you have to keep it real, but in every tweet you have a choice: Either tweet something positive and upbeat, or not.
4. Be trustworthy. This is huge. If someone tells you something privately in DM, never put that information out on the public timeline. Always give RT credit where credit is due. Once you betray that trust, it is very hard to get it back.
5. If you want to get someone’s attention on Twitter, RT them. It’s that simple. I learned from @Jason_Pollock that the best way to show someone you like their tweets is to RT them. You will get their attention faster by doing that than any other way.
6. Be available. Just showing up is a huge step towards building relationships on Twitter. You cannot build meaningful relationships if you are always doing the ‘drive by tweet’. Just like you share experiences with non-Twitter friends; it’s the same on twitter. When something exciting happens in your day, share it with others. Be there for them when they need you.
7. Release your expectations. Do you expect an immediate reply to your tweets? Do you expect a thank you for every RT? Open your heart a little and release your expectations. Give people room to breathe, you will develop Twitter friends much easier this way.
8. Don’t be a “me me me” tweeter. The best friends in real life are the ones that listen more than they speak. It’s the same on Twitter. Ask questions about the other person, be genuinely interested, be a good listener… err… reader of tweets. Be empathetic.
9. You have to give first and receive second. You will not suddenly have a bunch of people that want to know all about you the day you get on Twitter. You have to give of yourself first by reaching out to people, starting a conversation, sending tweets with valuable information, etc… and you will receive in return. Twitter friends are earned, just like non-Twitter friends.
10. Don’t try so hard! The thing about Twitter is that if you try too hard, you will look like a stalker. Above everything else, just be yourself and have a good time!